Delegations from the four member countries of the Pacific Alliance are arriving in Cartagena Friday in preparation for the trade bloc’s latest official summit, being hosted by Colombia, reported national media.
The dignitaries are scheduled to meet Saturday to lay out agendas ahead of the official opening of the summit Monday.
Presidents Ollanta Humala of Peru, Sebastián Piñera of Chile and Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, meanwhile, are set to arrive Sunday, when they will meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos prior to the start of formal talks.
A delegation from Costa Rica, currently a Pacific Alliance observer, will also be in attendance the summit, with Costa Rican President Laura Chincilla expected to sign an agreement during the summit outlining the country’s path to full membership, according to a Costa Rican national newspaper.
President Santos will act as this summit’s Pro Tempore, or rotating host, once the formal discussions begin, and has indicated that a primary agenda item of the Cartagena conference will be an agreement that would roll back tariffs on 92% of goods traded between the four member countries.
Founded in 2012, the Pacific Alliance has as its stated goal that the improved social and economic growth of the participating nations and the region as a whole. The trade pact attempts to lower restrictions amid the member states and bolster the bloc’s presence in global markets, particularly in east Asia’s growing economy.